Hey what do you know? I dug up my old logbook from JSUPT at Vance AFB and discovered that I flew a couple of flights in the 67-4749 tail number included with this product.
I am still checking everything out so my first impression will be light in details. Even after 20 years since last flying the Tweet it's amazing how much of it sticks with you.
I don't have a high performance computer so I live in the 20 and below FPS when I turn up settings.
Overall graphical details are fantastically done.
The only setback I have is blurry gauges and instruments. Specifically the Airspeed indicator ribbon is hard to distinguish the small increments in indicated airspeed. This is not an issue if you just want to zoom around and not too concerned with aircraft performance.
I don't know if I missed settings adjustment recommendations, but my Tweet seemed to have extremely clear canopy texture, almost non-existent texture. A little tinting of yellow, nicks and scratches, scuffs and bird feathers about the canopy would enhance the appearance of being as aged as these jets were.
Pre-flight checks and cockpit procedures match the Dash 1 manual.
I expected to start cold/dark with the canopy open and no lights illuminated on the main panel.Yet with battery turned off I am getting fuel boost pump light and trim light.
Start-up and switch functionality -
All switches called out in the checklist seem to have functionality for my initial set up. However, the next couple of times starting the aircraft I started encountering sound errors associated with the toggle switches in the cockpit.
Engine start and sounds -
Here's where I hold my breath. I anticipated the tick tick tick and unmistakable spool-up sound followed by the ever increasingly aggravating whine of the engines. SWS did a great job with sound effects, but managed to keep the engine noise tolerable without needing to wear hearing protection sitting in your home. The pitch and shrill does not seem to be as piercing as what was modeled in the old FS9 version of the Tweet by Microsimulator.
The center console throttles must be used. The cutoff detent function is accurately simulated. In the event of a hot start or other on ground emergency the pilot's hand is already on these throttles and near the shutoff T-handles. I even tried to advance the student throttle on start up to see if this was modeled. Not only did this cutoff functionality work I also induced a hot start with indicator light properly simulated.
Comm and Nav radios -
I enjoy having the option of using preset channels and requirement to tune DME separately as was required in the Tweet.
Nose wheel Steering -
I couldn't find any documentation on settings for this, but discovered from a video tutorial that a button on your control stick must be mapped to the default passenger no smoking switch for passenger aircraft in order to simulate this function in the real Tweet. Otherwise you cannot steer at taxi speeds on the ground.
Flight performance -
I have yet to take the jet through aerobatics. I did attempt to spin. I think there are still limitations in P3D not allowing the aerodynamics of a spin. I might be wrong though. It seems to pull itself out of what sort of looks like a spin and does not lose a great deal of altitude in the process. The first time I demonstrated a spin in the Tweet I was having so much fun that I almost forgot that I was supposed to do something about it.
Fuel burn rate seems to be well simulated in my short flights. Ponder the fact that we would depart with a bit less than 2300 pounds of fuel and with 1.3 hrs come back into the pattern with a little more than 400 to 500 pounds of fuel and bounce a few times before declaring minimum fuel.
I attempted both Rwy 35R and Rwy 17L departures from KEND to Keggleman "Dogface" Aux to the best of my recollection. In my opinion it is difficult with desktop and motion simulator to feel and anticipate what the Tweet is doing and even harder to try to fly known VFR references in default scenery when objects and land features are not where they are supposed to be. I attempted an overhead pattern at Keggleman. My pattern-work was disgusting! But the sim seemed to be somewhat forgiving.
The panel has a file A2A_Windshield.dll and calls the A2A rain texture. Maybe this does the trick. I have not setup rainy weather yet.
Now if there was a way to smell JP8 and feel the weight of invisible elephants sitting on you when you maneuver this jet it would be perfect.
Overall I commend SWS and its contributors for putting this product together. It was a long wait, but evermore worth it.